Big thanks to our readers for continuously sending questions to us and participating in the comments section of our blog. We truly value your feedback and we do our best to respond to your queries as soon as we can. Here is the compiled list of FAQs from the last two weeks:
- What is the best lens for child photography?
Our readers with families love our family photographs (thank you!) and occasionally ask me what lenses work best for photographing children, especially indoors. Most of the family pictures that we have are taken with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens and we use it more than any other lens both indoors and outdoors. Photographing kids is a challenging task (even with fast lenses) because children often move way too fast. Having a fast aperture lens helps to focus a little better in dim environments and also does a great job in isolating children from the background. Another lens that we have been raving a lot about lately, is the Nikon 35mm f/1.8. While it is not as superb as the 50mm f/1.4, it is still a pretty darn good lens on a DX body and super sharp at only $200 brand new. One more thing – if you are planning to photograph your children indoors a lot, I highly recommend purchasing an external flash unit like the Nikon SB-600 or SB-900. You can get great results by simply bouncing the flash off the walls and ceilings of your house and freeze motion.
- Should I buy Nikon D3000 or Nikon D5000?
Despite the fact that there is a $200 difference between the two cameras, I always suggest our readers to get the Nikon D5000 over D3000. Why? Because the sensor on the Nikon D5000 is superior and much more capable compared to the sensor on the Nikon D3000. The most important thing in a camera is the sensor and the sensor on the Nikon D5000 is identical to the sensor on the Nikon D90 semi-professional camera. So, the image quality on the Nikon D5000 matches the image quality of the Nikon D90 – the difference is only in features and body design.
- What is the difference between the older Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR and the newer Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II?
Optically, both lenses are identical. Because the older Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR had a problem with lens creep (pointing the lens down would start extending the barrel and zooming in), Nikon introduced a lock switch that locks the barrel in place on the newer Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II. Everything else is the same, including Vibration Reduction technology.
- Can I use Nikon SB-600 as a commander?
Unfortunately, you cannot. You will need a Nikon SB-800 (no longer manufactured) or Nikon SB-900 to be able to command other flashes. Nikon SB-600 works perfectly as a slave though. By the way, if you own a Nikon D70/D70s/D80/D90/D300/D300s/D700 camera, you can use the built-in flash as a commander! Just go to your flash menu settings and set your camera flash as a commander and set your SB-600 as a slave and give it a shot – it works like a charm!
- How big is the difference between a 200mm and 300mm lens?
Check out the focal length comparison article I wrote a long time ago that shows the difference between 200mm and 300mm. You can also see the difference between wide-angle and telephoto lenses there.
- Is the new Nikon 70-200mm VR II good for sports photography?
Absolutely, as long as you are shooting from a close distance. If your subjects are more than 10 feet away, I recommend getting a longer lens instead. Keep in mind that due to a change in optics, the new Nikon 70-200mm at 200mm is more like a 135mm lens at close-focus distance. The problem goes away as you increase the distance between yourself and the subject, but it is still quite noticeable compared to the original 70-200mm lens.
- How does the Nikon 70-300mm VR compare to the Nikon 70-200mm VR?
Well, the biggest difference, first of all, is the price – the Nikon 70-200mm is around $2K more expensive than the 70-300mm. Second, the 70-200mm lens is a professional-grade lens for sports and news photographers, while the 70-300mm is a consumer lens. Third, 70-200mm is a constant f/2.8 aperture lens, while the 70-300mm lens is a variable aperture lens (at 70mm it is f/4.5, while at 300mm it is f/5.6). Fourth, if you do a comparison between 70 and 200mm, the 70-200mm lens will obviously beat the 70-300mm in both sharpness and contrast. Fifth, due to a completely different optical and lens design, there is a huge difference in weight and size between the lenses. Lastly, the 70-300mm gives far more reach than the 70-200mm VR II at the long end. Overall, it is unfair to compare these two lenses – it is like comparing a Ferrari with a Toyota.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a good day!